A greener economy would generate long-term benefits for all Colombians
Bogota, July 25, 2023. Colombia can achieve its ambitious goals to combat climate change while, at the same time, providing a better economic future for its population, according to a new report from the World Bank Group. And through reforms to make its economy more resilient to climate change, the country can quickly reduce carbon emissions and protect the most vulnerable people.
According to him Country climate and development report (CCDR), failure to take action on adaptation to climate change means greater risks for the country compared to its regional and global counterparts. For example, by 2050, the number of people affected by floods in Colombia is expected to triple, the number of days with temperatures above 35°C will increase almost sixfold, and weather-induced infrastructure disruptions could affect 60 %. More Colombians.
“This report shows that these are not exclusive cases. Colombia can grow its economy while achieving its goal of increasing resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050, if it acts decisively now.to explain Mark Thomas, World Bank Country Director for Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. “Climate investments and policies represent a huge opportunity to modernize the Colombian economy, reduce climate risks, and create more prosperity for more Colombians.”
According to the report, Colombia can meet the challenges of climate change and economic growth by focusing on three priorities. First, invest in flexibility. Colombia’s transport and energy sectors may become more resilient to future shocks such as droughts, floods or landslides. These measures must go hand in hand with preserving and restoring forests, making agriculture more resilient to climate change, and building on Colombia’s already strong disaster risk management systems.
Second, Colombia’s increase in greenhouse-gas emissions must be rapidly reversed. In addition to halting deforestation more vigorously, this will require rapid action to reduce emissions in the livestock sector and the amount of land needed for production. Meeting Colombia’s growing energy needs in a sustainable manner will require an increase in renewable energy (particularly solar and wind), along with electricity transmission and energy efficiency measures. In the transport sector, it will be necessary to adopt electric mobility and expand public and non-motorized transport infrastructure.
Third, it is a priority to protect the most vulnerable members of society. It is inevitable that some people will suffer income loss or job loss due to the upcoming global shift away from the use of fossil fuels. Measures are needed to help workers and regions in the coal and oil industries whose jobs and economies will be at risk find new jobs and activities, along with more adaptive social protection programs, to protect the poorest workers.
As a fossil fuel producer, by 2050 Colombia could lose up to 10% of its export earnings, 6% of its government revenue, and 8% of its GDP as a result of global decarbonization. Widespread reforms will be needed to make up for the fiscal shortfall and finance climate action. While implementing this agenda will cost $92 billion by 2050, these actions have the potential to produce a net annual gain of about $7 billion for the economy. Notably, the report finds that climate action does not contradict reforms aimed at raising living standards, but rather increases their urgency: with the right reforms, the private sector could provide up to $74 billion in additional investment needed for climate action.
Colombia accounts for only 0.6% of carbon dioxide emissions2 globally, but it is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The only alternative for Colombia to effectively address climate change is through close cooperation between the public and private sectors, with a focus on supporting renewable energy solutions, developing sustainable urban infrastructure, and expanding green finance.He said Elizabeth Martinez de Marcano, IFC’s Regional Director for Colombia, Mexico, and Central America and the Caribbean.
For example, to enhance access to credit in rural areas, the government could partner with financial institutions to expand the provision of guarantees and insurance. Encouraging longer grace periods, tailored to crop rotations, could boost adoption of the technology. Clearer regulations for public-private partnerships should lead to greater investment in resilient infrastructure projects. Encouraging development financing and charitable funds aimed at mobilizing private capital flows would reduce risks faced by the private sector and mobilize public funds. Finally, green finance can be expanded through the development of carbon markets and a common system shared by financial institutions for determining whether or not an investment is sustainable, a rating called “green rating”.
About the Country Climate and Development Reports (CCDR)
The World Bank Group’s Climate and Development Reports are newly created baseline diagnostics that integrate climate change and development considerations. It will help countries prioritize actions that have the greatest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation, while achieving broader development goals. CCDR reports are based on rigorous data and research, identify key pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate vulnerabilities, and point out the costs and difficulties of the task, as well as its benefits and opportunities. The reports suggest concrete priority actions to support the transition to a low carbon and resilient economy. CCDRs, as public documents, aim to inform governments, citizens, the private sector and development partners, and facilitate collaboration on the development agenda and climate change. The CCDR reports will be integrated into other core diagnostic studies, as well as across the World Bank Group’s activities and operations in countries, and will help attract funds and direct financing for high-impact climate action.
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